SOUTH BERWICK — Waiting to try a field goal that could win a regional final, Max Horton remembered what Marshwood High Coach Alex Rotsko said.

“Coach said to make this game memorable, and we sure did that,” Horton said.

Horton drilled the 23-yard field goal with authority with 1:19 to play, then recovered a fumble at the Marshwood 10 to stop a furious Falmouth drive as the Hawks held on for a 31-28 win Saturday afternoon in the Class B South final.

After Horton’s field goal, Falmouth quarterback Jack Bryant (14 of 19, 224 yards) completed three passes to move his team 45 yards in a matter of seconds. On first-and-goal from the 10, Bryant rolled left. With room to run, he kept looking for a receiver but was sacked by Drew Gregor, and the ball came loose.

“I think I tried to do too much,” Bryant said. “It’s hard to swallow. I should have just eaten it. We had plenty of time left.”

Falmouth coaches questioned the ruling of a fumble.

“I thought he was down already on his knees and, second, that he was trying to throw the ball,” said Falmouth Coach John Fitzsimmons. “They have to call it exactly as they see it, and that’s what they did, but I thought he was already down, for sure.”

Top-seeded Marshwood (11-0), the Class B champion in 2014 and 2015, will make its fourth trip to the state final in Rotsko’s six years as coach. The Hawks will face Skowhegan (7-3) next Saturday at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Marshwood won 55-12 at Skowhegan in the season opener.

Marshwood could be without starting quarterback Tommy Springer. Springer, a junior, showed signs of being concussed after taking big hits on consecutive plays, the second of which resulted in a 35-yard touchdown pass to Horton late in the third quarter. It was Springer’s third TD pass and, with Horton’s point after, gave Marshwood a 21-20 lead.

“He was pretty shook up,” Rotsko said. “I don’t know what his status is, but I’m guessing it doesn’t look good.”

Marshwood forced a Garret Aube fumble on Falmouth’s next possession, recovered by Cameron Fischer at the Falmouth 40.

With sophomore Connor Caverly at quarterback, Kyle Glidden ripped off his two best runs of the game to set up first-and-goal, and Matt Goodwin scored on a 6-yard run. Horton’s PAT made it 28-20 with 10:57 left.

Falmouth finished 8-3, with two losses at Marshwood and a playoff win at No. 2 Kennebunk, which defeated the Yachtsmen in the regular season.

“We weren’t just OK with getting beat by these teams. We got a lot better,” Bryant said. “We knew we could play with them and we played with both of them. Last week the balls bounced our way, and this week they didn’t.”

Bryant completed six passes in a 12-play game-tying drive before taking it in himself from the 1 and then scrambling for the 2-point conversion.

Marshwood set up Horton’s winning field goal with a 47-yard pass from Jayke Longarini to Glidden off a reverse. Longarini said the Hawks have been practicing the play for two years but had never called it in a game.

The game was tied 14-14 at halftime. Marshwood scored first on a Springer-to-Justin Bryant 22-yard screen pass. Falmouth, which frequently converted on third-and-long, answered with a 12-yard TD run by Aube.

Springer found a wide-open Joe Taran for a 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but Bryant hooked up with an even more open Emilio Micucci for a 66-yard strike.

Falmouth, which had a 407-327 edge in offense, took its only lead on a 1-yard run by Bryant with 3:59 left in the third quarter, two plays after the Yachtsmen recovered a fumble at the Marshwood 8.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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